Recently, I decided I needed to start dressing like someone who leaves the house. In fairness, I decide this at least once a year, probably because as a freelancer who primarily works from home, I often wear outfits that consist of yoga pants and a cleanish T-shirt. Of course, semi-transparent Lululemons can only take you so far. And then I stumbled upon the key to the everyday-luxe uniform I’ve dreamed about, perhaps, since my brief days in a Brownie troop: Equipment’s Slim Signature Blouse, of which four currently reside in my closet: “Nature White,” “Bright White,” “Bamboo,” and “Nude,” which is really a rosy pink. (I’m saving up for “Peacoat,” a navy shade, or better, a pale blue version with a star print called “Bluestone.”)
Equipment is a Parisian label, originally launched in 1975, that relaunched in 2010 with a focus on menswear-inspired shirts that look like something Katharine Hepburn or Lauren Bacall would wear. They’re sexy but slightly androgynous. The Slim Signature is a crisp yet silky button-down, its buttons situated in exactly the right spots, which is important for the full-busted among us. It means the buttons don’t pull awkwardly across the chest. The shirt’s good for virtually any occasion: meeting your book editor at CraftBar, date night, lying across several barstools at a dive bar so your friend can Instagram you (again, those buttons are a godsend). There are pockets on each breast, but unlike other brands I’ve worn (J.Crew, Uniqlo, Banana Republic), they don’t look bulky or do strange things to the cleavage. The shirt doesn’t wrinkle — or, rather, it wrinkles perfectly in a devil-may-care kind of way; is sheer but not too; and looks good in virtually any form: tucked, untucked, part-tucked, under a sweater, with skirts or jeans, even sans pants. It slims while enhancing. And it looks expensive.
It is, in fact, expensive. When I confessed to my sister-in-law how much a shirt cost after I put it on a Christmas list (nearly as much as a basic Apple watch), she gasped. In my defense, the shirts often go on sale, and in the all-important ratio of cost divided by number of annual wears, times perfection for any occasion, these shirts are a clear winner. I’ve worn each of them at least 20 times since purchasing, so that’s $10 per wear — and counting. They’re hardy, too, going through more dry cleanings than anything else in my closet and still emerging unscathed. (A friend claims she puts them right in the laundry and they’re still fine; I wouldn’t risk it.) And, as luck would have it, there are sleeveless and short-sleeve versions as well, which means you can pretend to be Katharine Hepburn in every possible season, too.
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